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2:09 AM
@Mitch Sumerian is not Phoenician...
I would not have immediately objected to the former.
Although there are problems.
But Phoenician seems rather contrary to the communis opinio.
@Færd @tchrist In the first example, I wouldn't pick the I...me version, because one usually doesn't repeat the same person in the same clause unless it's reflexive.
Or that is how I would explain my slight aversion.
The matter is deserving of more thought.
In the second example, I don't have a very strong preference.
@tchrist About the infinitive, it is true that Latin and Greek don't use a marker exactly the same way as English does. But in Greek articles (frequently preceded and governed by a preposition) can introduce infinitives, turning them into substantive nouns.
But various constituents can easily come between article and infinitive, so English has no reason to be picky on that basis.
In Latin, an infinitive turns into a gerund (our gerundive) when preceded by a preposition.
But then you also place other phrases between preposition and infinitive and gerund without a problem.
 
 
1 hour later…
3:29 AM
@Cerberus yes, I did switch there in the middle. Phoenician is way too late. But you find Sumerian is plausible as a precursor to Egyptian?
 
4:15 AM
@Mitch I would say less than plausible, but I'm not an expert.
I don't even know whether there were ideographic Mesopotamian signs around the time of the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphs.
I've never seen what Sumerian ideograms looked like.
Or have pre-cuneiform signs not been found?
In that case, why did the Egyptians begin with such a very different kind of system from the Sumerian one?
But the theory is better than for Phoenician, to be sure.
 
4:52 AM
I was just messing around with Google Ngram Viewer, and I was surprised to see that "two/four/five people" overtook "two/four/five persons" surprisingly late in their corpora. It shows "persons" being overtaken by "people" in these contexts roughly between 1940-1980. Sure, that's still decades ago, but it indicates that the "persons for specific numbers" rule that I've seen promoted by some people isn't quite as much of a dinosaur as I thought it was.
 
5:52 AM
@sumelic I think those slashes ruin the ngram.
 
6:16 AM
@Tonepoet The slashes were to convert them to relative frequencies. I find it easier to look at where the curves cross the 100% line than to look at where they cross each other. I think the information is the same in both, isn't it?
 
@sumelic This is a feature I had not known about before now, so I'm not sure.
 
 
11 hours later…
5:07 PM
hi
 
5:24 PM
Hello.
 
5:42 PM
can you folks help understand some lines from an old play?
such as: "Torment, sweet friend, that base and crooked age,
That durst dissuade me from thy Lucifer,
With greatest torments that our hell affords."
 
6:23 PM
I think I sorted it out in the meantime..
 
 
2 hours later…
8:47 PM
@Færd I dislike both of those. I would surely insist upon inserting another party into the sentence, like "I can be be easily ticked off by [people] talking down to me." Maybe even "other people" for that matter.
Erm, with only one be of course. I suppose that places more emphasis on the person doing the annoyance than the annoyance itself though
 

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